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The Russian Express

Cena od {{totalPrice}} PLN Extra expenses at the destination None
Podana cena jest cena minimalną i zależy ona od terminu wyjazdu. Aby sprawdzić aktualną cenę, wybierz termin podróży oraz liczbę uczestników. Miej na uwadze, że cena nie zawiera biletu lotniczego, ale chętnie pomożemy Ci znaleźć najtańszą ofertę.
Sprawdź, co jest zawarte w cenie
Cena od 12855 PLN
Podana cena jest cena minimalną i zależy ona od terminu wyjazdu. Aby sprawdzić aktualną cenę, wybierz termin podróży oraz liczbę uczestników. Miej na uwadze, że cena nie zawiera biletu lotniczego, ale chętnie pomożemy Ci znaleźć najtańszą ofertę.
Sprawdź, co jest zawarte w cenie
Czas trwania
21
Początek
Beijing
Koniec
St. Petersburg
Group size
12 people maximum. Big enough to form a posse, small enough to give you space.
The adventure of a lifetime awaits. Explore further, dive deeper and experience more on this epic adventure from Beijing to St. Petersburg covering 8,515 km.
You’ll have time to climb the Great Wall in China, ride across the steppe in Mongolia, wander the streets of Moscow and cruise the canals of St. Pete’s with plenty of time to relax and rest on the rails.
Itinerary

The Russian Express

Days 1-3: Beijing

Join your Honcho and fellow travellers on day 1 at 17:00 for your welcome meeting in the ever-changing metropolis of Beijing. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of the ancient laneways of the Hutongs or sample a rare delicacy at Donghuamen Night Market. Old meets new in the fashionable shopping district of Wangfujing or you may decide to take in a performance at one of the many Chinese Opera Houses. The Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and Mao’s Mausoleum all provide a fascinating insight into China’s history that you have the opportunity to discover, whilst an exciting excursion beyond the city to the Great Wall should not be missed.

Day 4: Trans Mongolian Railway

Climb aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway line and get ready for a cultural switcheroo. Settle into the rhythm of life onboard the train, and people watch as you decipher your Mongolian phrasebook. Mingle in the dining car and try a few words on unsuspecting locals. Plan what activities you want to do once you reach the wide-open steppe. Peek out the window as the Gobi Desert becomes the grasslands of the nomads, look out for wildlife and the gers of roving herders.

Days 5-6: Mongolia &Terelj National Park

We arrive in Mongolia and transfer out to the land of the nomads. Experience life in a ger camp cradled in a protected nature reserve. Learn about the nomads' roving traditions, a culture that hasn’t changed much for hundreds of years. Enjoy a hike in the wilderness and soak up the serenity of your surroundings. Your Honcho can organise horse riding or archery to help you feel like a real Khan. Enjoy a peaceful sunset before getting cosy around the campfire. After a few airags (fermented mare’s milk), head outside to witness the Milky Way blaze across the night sky.

Day 7: Ulaanbaatar & Irkutsk

You have the day to explore the capital before reboarding the train. There are lots of great options so choose wisely. Visit the Zaisan Memorial to get a great view over the sprawling capital - a skyline of Soviet blocks, Buddhist temples and ger suburbs ringed by empty grasslands for hundreds of miles in every direction. See the ruby-robed monks at Gandantegchinlen Monastery, a name which translates to ‘the great place of complete joy’. Wander around town and encounter plenty of places to feast on local cuisine and enjoy a tasty brew, like Crazy Shaman IPA at Hop & Rocks Brewery, Mongolia’s first ever producer of craft beer.

Days 8-9: Lake Baikal

Welcome to Russia and onto Siberia’s natural wonder. Settle into your shore-side home at Lake Baikal, and soak up the scenery as you take a stroll around the water’s edge. As the largest freshwater lake in the world, it holds 20% of the planet’s freshwater and seems to stretch on to an infinite horizon. Take a ‘refreshing’ dip if you’re feeling brave, and taste the local cuisine. Sample the locally caught fish, you can eat it raw, smoked or roasted on a BBQ. Ask your honcho about lake activities; they vary throughout the year from ice driving to kayaking or something more relaxing.

Day 10: Irkutsk

You’ll feel relaxed and revitalised after two days at the lake, and ready for some city exploring. A town of two tales, Irkutsk began life as a trading outpost and underwent its own revolution when nobility from St. Petersburg were exiled here for their part in the Decembrist Revolt of 1825. The influx of artists, academics and elites created a thriving cultural and educational hub. Today, it’s a bustling uni town with a unique style of wooden architecture, well worth a look before climbing back onboard the train.

Days 11-13: Trans Siberian Railway

Late evening departure to Kazan. Settle into life onboard the renowned iron way and watch the world transform outside your window. While onboard you’ll pass over the Urals that mark the end of Asia and the beginning of Europe. Hang with your group in the dining car and plan what you want to do in Kazan. Say hello to locals, with a little inventive sign language you’ll be sharing laughs and snacks in no time. The train will make minor stops along the way, ask how long it's staying before you hop off and devour homecooked delights from babushkas along the platform - a welcome break from your 2-min noodles.

Days 14-15: Kazan

Step into a different side of Russia. Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan, home of the Tatars, a Turkic people native to the region and Russia’s second largest ethnicity. Experience the cultural differences through the architecture, food and faces in this vibrant city. Take a stroll down bustling Bauman Street to sample Tatar cuisine or chill in one of the many cafes and bars. There are coffee houses, live music venues, electro clubs and wild party bars to keep you busy all night.

Day 16: To Moscow

Enjoy a final day in Kazan before reboarding the train to Russia’s capital. Plan the hit list of sights you wish to explore once you arrive in Moscow. Enjoy a relaxing time on board before you thrust into city life.

Days 17-18: Moscow

Head to Red Square for an immediate WOW factor. You’ll find yourself slack-jawed on the cobbled square (surprisingly not red) staring in awe at the gingerbread masterpiece of St. Basil's. As you start to explore Moscow, you’ll soon discover that this revivalist piece is just one of the architectural wonders scattered across the city. Around the square alone, you’ll find the Kremlin with its gothic towers watching over the treasures within, Lenin’s Mausoleum displaying the embalmed revolutionary, and the State Museum that is well worth a visit if you fancy a history lesson. You can wander to Zaryadye Park for a great vantage over the striking skyline or chill in Gorky Park, a favourite among locals soaking up their long-lost friend, vitamin D. Try the local fare, some of the best has Georgian and Asian influence. With a full belly, it’s time to check out the nightlife. Live jazz, underground dance and ping-pong bars to name a few.

Day 19: Moscow to St. Petersburg

Welcome aboard your final train journey as we travel on to St. Petersburg. It’s worth reading up on what makes this city so unique. Originally constructed as Russia’s ‘eyes into Europe’, the city has been the backdrop to countless catastrophes, but Russian’s are nothing if not resilient. Today, the 21 -century city is a thriving cultural capital.

Days 20-21: St. Petersburg

This city is alive with creativity. As you walk down the opulent streets lined with impressive imperial architecture, you’ll discover an experimental art scene, cosy wine bars, great tea houses, a multicultural food offering, and when night time comes around, live music and pulsating clubs. A local punk musician recently summed it up by saying "in a city of three revolutions, you’re bound to get a fourth". When you’re not busy immersing yourself in the city’s modern culture, descend into underground palaces on the metro and find yourself surrounded by marble pillars, ornate chandeliers and classical frescos. Stroll down Nevsky Prospect, beside the canals or by the river. Take in the magnificence of the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, an immense work of art. Be sure to set aside some time to visit the Hermitage Museum housed in the Winter Palace for a taste of Tsar life and see if you can spot one of the 70 feline guards that protect the art collection from hungry mice.

What's Included

All train tickets
Visa support & destination information
Shared accommodation including 9 hostel nights, 2 nights at a ger camp, 2 nights at a Siberian guesthouse, 7 nights on the train (4-berth)
A dedicated tour leader (Honcho) for the entire journey, however, with no pre-arranged sightseeing, you have complete freedom to roam. Stay with your group or explore on your own.
All arrival transfers once you have joined the group *

* Arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer at the end of your itinerary are not included.
Overview

What is included in the price?

Extra expenses at the destination
None

Accommodation

On the Train
Sleeping compartments are usually four-share with two upper and two lower bunks - depending on the group size you could be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers or other travellers along the way. You’ll find clean bedding, reading lights, a big window, a small table and enough room for a rucksack or two, perfect for when you need a moment’s rest. All carriages have boiling water, attendants and washrooms, but no showers - that’s a luxury to look forward to once you disembark. If you wish to have more privacy, ask your travel advisor for an upgrade to 2-berth (1st class) compartment at an extra cost.

Off the Train
Other accommodation may include ger camps in Mongolia. These are traditional nomadic homes that are sure to become one of your journey highlights. They tend to be multi-share and mixed-sex so grab your new besties and enjoy the nomadic vibes together. Hostels, hotels and guesthouses we stay at are clean, close to transport and provide legendary hospitality. We’ll do our best to pair couples, but it can’t be guaranteed so sometimes you’ll be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers of the same sex. If you wish to have more privacy, ask your travel advisor for an upgrade to a private room at an extra cost.

Local transport

The public scheduled trains and buses are basic but comfortable and offer a window into real life. Most locals won’t be going the same distance as you, so you’ll meet a marvellous mix along the way. Don't be afraid to say hello!

Meals

In keeping with the budget-friendly policy and adding flexibility to your trip, there are no meals included in your Vodkatrain journey. Your options while on the rails include a restaurant car *, buying food from the "Babushkas" (grandmothers) on the platforms (just make sure you check the hygiene situation before handing over the cash) and self-catering. In general just follow the simple travellers' food rule - peel it, cook it or wash it, and you should be good.

* The train from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk (and vice versa) does not have a restaurant car. There are also few opportunities to buy food on the platforms so you will need to buy enough food for the journey before you board the train.

Please be aware

With you for the whole journey, your Honcho is a local legend who will help you hit the highlights and discover some hidden gems. They’ll also take care of the train tickets and make sure you’re where you need to be, when you have somewhere to be. If you prefer to do things your own way, that’s fine, too.

Honchos can show you the iconic sights and then take you behind the scenes for a real taste of local life. They’re under 35, speak excellent English and love their job because they get to meet people from all over the world. You might be comfortable dropping an "una cerveza por favour" in Spain, but do you know how to ask for directions in Russian or find the right bus in Mongolia? Your Honcho will not only help you with the logistics of travelling in a distant land but let you feel the pulse of a city through local gems not yet listed in the guidebooks.

- Honchos are with you for the entire journey (even on the train).
- They’ll help you get your bearings. Need to find an ATM, no worries. Want to try a local beer. Easy.
- They’ll take you where you want to go and places you haven’t even heard of.
- They will not take you to endless souvenir shops or their cousin’s restaurant - unless you want that.
- There’s no pressure to hang out with a Honcho if you’d rather do your own thing.
- They’re available 24/7 and can often be coerced to stay out late for a drink or two.
- When it comes time to leave, and you’re nursing a post-vodka hangover, they’ll make sure you get on the right train at the right time for stress-free travel.

The Russian Express

CENA OD {{totalPrice}} PLN
Podana cena jest cena minimalną i zależy ona od terminu wyjazdu. Aby sprawdzić aktualną cenę, wybierz termin podróży oraz liczbę uczestników. Miej na uwadze, że cena nie zawiera biletu lotniczego, ale chętnie pomożemy Ci znaleźć najtańszą ofertę.
Sprawdź, co jest zawarte w cenie

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